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USCIS EB-5 Modernization Regulation to Take Effect on November 21, 2019

The USCIS EB-5 Modernization Regulation will take effect on November 21, 2019. The new regulation will change the investor immigrant visa program in several significant ways.


First of all, the standard minimum investment amount will increase from $1 million to $1.8 million. The minimum investment in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) will also increase from $500,000 to $900,000. Future adjustments will occur every 5 years based on inflation.


Second, USCIS will directly review and determine the designation of high-unemployment TEAs and will no longer defer to TEA designations made by state and local governments. This change is meant to stop the "gerrymandering" of extended snake-like areas previously subject to state designation including project areas that may not qualify for the lower investment level.


Third, considering the long EB-5 waiting list, the new rules allow certain immigrant investors to keep the priority date of a previously approved EB-5 petition when they file a new petition. If for some reason the previously approved I-526 is abandoned or even revoked because of some material change other than for misrepresentation or for ineligibility as of the time of filing, then the investor can apply the priority date of the first I-526 petition to a subsequently filed I-526 petition.


Finally, the new regulation also clarifies on some issues that puzzled the EB-5 industry for years, including proceedings related to the I-829 petition to remove conditions of residence.


The information contained in this news report should not be construed as legal advice.


Post written by Rongrong Pan (Attorney)